By Okon Bassey in Uyo
The petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressive Candidate, Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Chief Inibehe Okori, received a boost at the weekend as the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the state granted a motion for the inspection of documents used by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the election.
The APC senatorial candidate is in the tribunal to challenge the declaration of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Godswill Akpabio by INEC as the winner of the March 28, 2015 senatorial election in the district.
Counsel to the petitioner, Chief Assam Assam (SAN) had applied to the three-man tribunal hearing the case for leave to inspect the documents including the 450, 000 ballot papers reportedly secured by Akpabio to emerge as the winner of the election.
Assam had told the tribunal that the application was in line with provision of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) specifically section 151 sub one which was for the purpose of defending an election petition. None of the respondents objected to the order for inspection as they pleaded to be allowed or included to witness the process.
The tribunal chairman, Hon. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji (Mrs.) while granting the prayer said such inspection should be concluded within 10 days in the presence of the respondents and security operatives.
Okori had in his petition challenged the eligibility of Akpabio to stand for the election on the grounds that he (Akpabio) was not properly nominated by his party the PDP.
He had also deposited before the tribunal about 2,000 pages of petition bordering on fraudulent conduct of the election, use of fake documents including ballot papers and result sheets, snatching and deviation of materials as well as violent during the conduct of election among other things.
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